MINNEAPOLIS — Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook came off the bench in Friday night’s 111-102 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski the team will continue to use him in a reserve role for the foreseeable future becomes.
Westbrook missed Wednesday’s LA loss to the Denver Nuggets due to a sore left hamstring muscle but was upgraded to a likely Friday morning. He entered with 7 minutes and 28 seconds left in the first quarter, subs for Troy Brown Jr.
Westbrook had 18 points in 33 minutes but only shot 6 of 17 from the field. He added eight rebounds and three assists and had five turnovers.
Lakers coach Darvin Ham brought Westbrook off the bench in LA’s preseason finals and said the role allowed the former league MVP to get his hands on the ball more often on offense, which ignited the Lakers’ attack.
Coming off the bench broke Westbrook’s streak of 1,007 consecutive starts, which was the third-longest active streak in the league behind Chris Paul and LeBron James, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information Research.
The Lakers trained on the shootaround with a starting five unit of James, Anthony Davis, Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker IV and center Damian Jones. Wolves have one of the biggest frontlines in the league in Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert.
Despite the practice, Davis was demoted from questionable to out.
https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/34896793/sources-lakers-plan-russell-westbrook-come-bench Lakers’ Russell Westbrook comes off bench against Timberwolves